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One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson

One Good Turn (2006)

by Kate Atkinson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,6071812,159 (3.76)420
  1. 90
    Case Histories: A Novel by Kate Atkinson (teelgee)
  2. 80
    When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (2810michael)
  3. 00
    Mainlander by Will Smith (charl08)
    charl08: Both novels have a strong sense of place as they describe crimes that are not straightforward, and involve complex characters, challenging 'crime' genre.
  4. 22
    The Sunday Philosophy Club by Alexander McCall Smith (2810michael)

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» See also 420 mentions

English (172)  Dutch (5)  German (2)  French (1)  Italian (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (182)
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
The second Jackson Brodie novel, this one set over the course of several very jam-packed days in Edinburgh. Completely riveting; I read it pretty much right straight through. ( )
  JBD1 | Feb 3, 2019 |
When what appears to be a minor traffic accident turns violent, a bystander intervenes, and things quickly spiral into a typical Atkinson pottage. This one also features Jackson Brodie, who bumbles from one scene to another as his never terribly believable romance, begun in "Case Histories", comes unraveled.

Atkinson's characters meander through convoluted mindscapes, trailing tendrils of coincidence that really do strain credulity. It's still a tribute to Atkinson, however, that she does keep the pages turning as readers try to winkle it all out before the final paragraph. ( )
  LyndaInOregon | Dec 14, 2018 |
Almost 4.5 for me (not that we can give half stars here). I'm a sucker for perfectly-written prose, not too over-the-top, and not certainly not too pedestrian, and I felt Atkinson was a master stylist. Here's a sentence: "As he pushed his way past the crowd, he tried to orient himself toward the Castle." I can't help but think most writers would have typed something like "He walked toward the Castle," or possibly "He ventured toward where he thought the Castle was," and hers is just so much more descriptive and elegant, while still seeming taut.

And it's all like that--just great writing.

The plot is marvelously inventive. Russian nesting dolls occur, and they make a decent (if not perfect) metaphor for the unfolding of the story here, but if I had to pick a metaphor I'd suggest a spiralling spiderweb might come close to how it felt. You start at the outside, and see all these separate strands, but by the end of the book they've all come together very nicely indeed.

I already have two others of hers, which I look forward to reading, but this was my first Kate Atkinson. She's a treat.

(Note: 5 stars = rare and amazing, 4 = quite good book, 3 = a decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. There are a lot of 4s and 3s in the world!) ( )
  ashleytylerjohn | Sep 19, 2018 |
Jackson Brodie #2 ( )
  ParadisePorch | Sep 18, 2018 |
Not quite as good as Case Histories, this sequel is still an excellent read. The mystery is a little weaker, characters are still wonderful. ( )
  JanetNoRules | Sep 17, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 172 (next | show all)
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Male parta, male dilabuntun
(Wat oneervol is verkregen, wordt oneervol verkwist.)
Cicero, Philippicae, 11, 27
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Voor Debbie, Glynis, Judith, Lynn, Penny, Sheila en Tessa.
Voor hoe we waren en voor hoe we zijn
First words
He was lost. He wasn't used to being lost.
Every day was a gift, she told herself, that was why it was called the present.
He knew he would have to do something proactive, he was not a person to whom things simply happened. His life had been lived in some kind of neutral gear, he had never broken a limb, never been stung by a bee, never been close to love or death. He had never strived for greatness, and his reward had been a small life.
The matronly cashmere seemed to confirm something that Gloria had suspected for some time, that she had gone straight from youth to old age and had somehow managed to omit the good bit in between.
They always had a chocolate log on Christmas Day. Gloria made a roulade mix, no flour, only eggs and sugar but heavy with expensive chocolate, and when it was cooked she rolled it up with whipped cream and chestnut puree and decorated it with chocolate butter cream, scored and marked to look like wood, and then sprinkled it with icing-sugar snow. Finally she cut ivy from the garden, frosted it with egg white and sugar and then twined it round the log.
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Book description
It is the Edinburgh Festival. People queuing for a lunchtime show witness a road-rage incident - an incident which changes the lives of everyone involved. Jackson Brodie, ex-army, ex-police, ex-private detective, is also an innocent bystander - until he becomes a suspect.

With Case Histories, Kate Atkinson showed how brilliantly she could explore the crime genre and make it her own. In One Good Turn she takes her masterful plotting one step further. Like a set of Russian dolls each thread of the narrative reveals itself to be related to the last. Her Dickensian cast of characters are all looking for love or money and find it in surprising places. As ever with Atkinson what each one actually discovers is their true self.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316012823, Paperback)

Kate Atkinson began her career with a winner: Behind the Scenes at the Museum, which captured the Whitbread First Novel Award. She followed that success with four other books, the last of which was Case Histories, her first foray into the mystery-suspense-detective genre. In that book she introduced detective Jackson Brodie, who reopened three cold cases and ended up a millionaire. A great deal happened in-between.

In One Good Turn Jackson returns, following his girlfriend, Julia the actress, to the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. He manages to fall into all kinds of trouble, starting with witnessing a brutal attack by "Honda Man" on another man stuck in a traffic jam. Is this road rage or something truly sinister? Another witness is Martin Canning, better known as Alex Blake, the writer. Martin is a shy, withdrawn, timid sort who, in a moment of unlikely action, flings a satchel at the attacker and spins him around, away from his victim. Gloria Hatter, wife of Graham, a millionaire property developer who is about to have all his secrets uncovered, is standing in a nearby queue with a friend when the attack takes place. There is nastiness afoot, and everyone is involved. Nothing is coincidental.

Through a labyrinthine plot which is hard to follow because the points of view are constantly changing, the real story is played out, complete with Russians, false and mistaken identities, dead bodies, betrayals, and all manner of violent encounters. Jackson gets pulled in to the investigation by Louise Monroe, a police detective and mother of an errant 14-year-old. There might be yet another novel to follow which will take up the connection those two forge in this book. Or, Jackson might just go back to France and feed apples to the local livestock.

Atkinson has written an enjoyable and lively story of no degrees of separation among the most unlikely cast of characters. Some plot lines have been left to drift, but it does hang together in a satisfying fashion. --Valerie Ryan

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:29 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Millionaire ex-detective Jackson Brodie follows his girlfriend to Edinburgh for the famous arts festival, but when he witnesses a brutal attack on a man, he becomes caught up in a string of events that draw him into a deadly conspiracy.

» see all 10 descriptions

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